Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2017 Luke 1:37.

Luke 1:37.     For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And then it was Christmas Eve! Yeh friends, Christmas Eve, the day before Christ’s birth, aren’t you excited? (smile) We should be my people, because it’s around this time two thousand years ago we received the greatest gift ever. The Son of God was born so that He could save sinful man, whom His heavenly Father LOVED with such a great LOVE that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, so that His human creation could be saved from hell fire and damnation. 

Glory to our Most High God my brethren, for there is no other Deity who would have ever dreamed of doing something like that! So my fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday, as we gather in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him, to give Him thanks and exalt His holy name and receive His mercy, grace, forgiveness, strength and confidence to face the upcoming week, let’s show our sincere gratitude and overwhelming LOVE by singing our hearts out with unspeakable joy and supreme gladness. 

And the song we’re going to offer up in our sacrifice of praise is the old but ever true and much liked standard, ‘O Holy Night.’ Apparently it was originally written in French, but was later translated to English, and has the distinction of being the first Christmas Carol to ever be played on the radio in 1906. So with sincere feeling now, as we raise our voices to high heaven. 

‘O holy night, the stars are brightly shining; It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born! O night, O holy night, O night divine! Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, Here came the wise men from Orient land. 

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger, In all our trials born to be our Friend! He knows our need; to our weakness is no stranger. Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Truly He taught us to LOVE one another; His law is LOVE and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His Name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy Name! His power and glory evermore proclaim! His power and glory evermore proclaim!’ 

Oh friends, what beautiful sentiments, filled with eternal truths, while offering loads of assurance for the believer. I sincerely hope that tears of joy were flowing down all our faces as we sang those exquisite words. For how could it be otherwise eh, when we’re celebrating such a joyful occasion? And friends, the whole story of Christ’s birth is so incredible, that only a superior being could have worked it out so efficiently and competently and dramatically. 

That takes us to our Bit:  ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ Those were the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, Christ’s mother, after he informed her that she would bare God’s Son through the auspices of the Holy Spirit, and that her hitherto barren cousin Elisabeth, in her old age, was also pregnant.  And what I LOVE about Mary is that despite her young age, throughout Gabriel’s information session she never got riled or overly excited. Of course she was somewhat concerned and confused as Gabriel appeared out of the blue and began to lay such weighty matters on her. Her only real question was how was she going to get pregnant without knowing a man? 

And once Gabriel explained, she was fine. ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (One) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35) I must say that Mary was pretty mature for her age and background. If an angel suddenly appeared now and told that a teenager, she’d either run away screaming in fright, or hurl vicious and angry words at the messenger. But Mary’s response at the end of the conversation was simply: ‘Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Ah friends, I’m not sure that Mary would have been so relaxed if she had known the immense heartache she would have to face by being the mother of the Son of God. But nonetheless she held up under all the stress and strain of her position fairly well. Obviously the Lord gave her the wherewithal to stand strong and face the adversity, as He does with us all, when He gives us a job to do. 

So fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday of 2017, with our world in a complete mess, let’s try and spend some serious time contemplating the mystery and the miracle of Christ’s birth, and how it affects our lives today nuh.  And consequently, what we need to do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, because if we are to be true followers of Jesus, and for His birth, death and resurrection to truly mean something, then we should always be in the process of becoming more Christ-like and setting a good Christian example to others. That’s Christ’s desire and our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…ALL things are possible with God…you just have to study Christ’s life to see it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2017 Proverbs 24:1.

Proverbs 24:1.   Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

Well a fine Wednesday morning or afternoon to all you my faithful Scrip-Bit readers! Here is hoping that the Lord is blessing and keeping you safe and sound and giving you the necessary accoutrements to do His work in an excellent manner…. 

Oh that last statement is redundant, because the Lord ALWAYS gives us the wherewithal to do His work in an excellent manner. (smile) 

Anyway, today I want to share an interesting poem titled ‘Rejection,’ written by a lady named June Hunte. And is it ever so poignant and applicable to all believers! Some of you might know it, but it’s one of those pieces that never get old or stale. 

Please pray with me. ‘My Lord Jesus, I will live with your hope, even when life looks hopeless. I will not harbour hate, even when I’m ignored. I will live with your peace, even when I’m rejected. I will live with your LOVE, even when I’m scorned. 

I will pray with your heart, even for those who hurt me. I will forgive with your grace, even when I’m betrayed. I won’t focus on fear, for I know You are faithful. I won’t let heartache reign, I will move forward with faith. I pray this as your humble child.’ 

Yes friends, that’s our Christian faith explained right there! But how many of us are living up to it eh? Definitely not as many as should! We allow the enemy to fill our spirits with too much negative and unproductive stuff when we don’t get the desires of our hearts. But that does no good my people. It only drags us even further down in to the mire of despair, bitterness, fear and hate, when what we desperately need is upliftment and strong faith. 

That brings us to our Bit, which is also a serious drag on our faith. ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’ Why? ‘For their heart studieth destruction (devises violence), and their lips talk of mischief (trouble) (Prov.24:2) 

Oh my brethren, is that ever a serious warning from Cousin Sol! And it’s probably even more necessary in these ridiculously evil times than when he first wrote it. The times are so evil that people are selling their souls for next to nothing. 

The dark, the occult, the netherworld are all on the upswing now, but the worse thing we can ever do is to be envious of evil men, and then allow that envy to lead us into their evil way of living. And believe you me, the evil in the world is a powerful tool that draws you away from God without you even really realizing it. 

Even the psalmist Asaph almost fell for it, way back when. Hear him from Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness: ‘But as for me, my feet were almost gone (had almost stumbled); my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful) when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 

For there are no bands (pangs or pain) in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain (serves as a necklace); violence covers them as a garment. 

Their eyes stand out with fatness (bulge with abundance): they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt (scoff), and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily (proudly). They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.’ (Ps.73:2-9) 

Ah friends, nothing has changed since the days of Asaph so long ago, except that the wicked has gotten even more wicked and more prosperous, and their lure even more desirous and deceitful. It’s not easy to see them prospering and turn away from their evil deeds, but as Christians we should, and can do it with the Lord’s help. 

And remember what Cousin Sol says earlier on in Proverbs 11: ‘The righteousness of the perfect (blameless) shall direct his way (make his way smooth or straight): but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness (lust). 

When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead (trouble comes to the wicked instead).’ (Prov.11:5-8) 

Yuh see people, the wicked might have the upper hand in this world in regards to power and worldly wealth, but it will profit them nothing in the long run, because they, and all that they have will be destroyed,  for there is nothing that the Lord God Almighty despises like evil and evil doers. 

So let’s try and we wise nuh, and not be numbered amongst that lot. And we can begin by declaring our Wednesday Wail, which describes our position in the realm of God. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now let’s stand steadfast and strong in that belief, for it’s wisdom at it’s zenith! Much LOVE!

…wickedness may prosper for a season…but righteousness will prosper for eternity…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2016 Psalm 12:2

Psalm 12:2.   They speak vanity (idly, falsely) every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with double heart (an inconsistent mind) do they speak.

‘And another one bites the dust…!’ 

Yes friends, another of my university mates shed his earthly body yesterday and moved on to meet his Maker in the spiritual realm. We’re talking about the Rt. Hon. Patrick Augustus Mervyn Manning, (1946-2016) ex-Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. The cause of death is reputedly acute myeloid leukemia (blood cancer). That now leaves only a few of us. (smile) 

It’s strange though that when one of your classmates dies, how it gets you to thinking of your own mortality. But unfortunately there’s not much we can do about it, so we might as well enjoy life to the best of our ability, for when the Grim Reaper calls, we have no option but to go. 

Well what can I say about Paddy Manning eh? I met him way back in 1966 when we were both freshmen on the University of the West Indies (U.W.I) campus in Mona Jamaica, where we lived in the same Hall of Residence, Irvine Hall. Paddy was always pleasant and friendly, full of jokes, emitting that shy, innocent smile on his round, boyish face that the ladies seemed to like. 

Over the three years there we became decent friends and associates. We did have some fun times together; engaging in a couple of escapades, partying a fair amount, beating pan in the Irvine Hall Playboys Steel Band, and riding his Lambretta scooter around the campus and the surrounding Mona environs. 

At that time nobody really knew that Paddy had political ambitions, for he always played his cards close to his chest and never got involved in campus politics as some other well-known political animals did. The one instance most people might remember is when he ran for Hall Chairman and lost. 

But other than that, Paddy was just an ordinary fun-loving young man like most of us, so I was most surprised when I heard that he had gotten involved in politics. 

Unfortunately, the last time I saw him was around 1983, he was just a regular Cabinet Minister then, and sadly, I didn’t visit T&T for some thirty years after that, so we never got a chance to hook up.  In the last couple of years when I went down there I tried to see him, but he was either too sick to receive visitors or was off the island. 

Obviously I can’t say anything about his political administration since I wasn’t living there during that time, but I did hear stories, good, bad and indifferent. I won’t judge him because that’s not my place. 

I will end my little eulogy though with a rather appropriate statement from another school and band and roommate of his, William Lau. ‘Whatever one’s opinion, Patrick’s place in Trinidad and Caribbean history is set.’ 

And that no one can deny my friends. My sincere condolences go out to his family. Rest in peace, Paddy mih brother! 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, from Psalm 12 –A plea from Bruh David against the wicked. But first let’s set the scene with the verse that comes before it. ‘Help, Lord (save me); for the godly man ceaseth: for the faithful fail (disappear) from among the children of men.’ (Ps.12:2) 

And if that isn’t the gospel truth in these abominable times, I don’t know what is! Yeh mih breddren, godly and faithful men and women are going out of style, or have already gone out of style in these evil, godless days. 

And Bruh David continues: ‘They speak vanity (idly, falsely) every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with double heart (an inconsistent mind) do they speak.’ 

More indisputable truth precious people! For lies and falsehood and fraud and double speak and flattery are what emanate from most mouths in this day and age. The evil tendencies of man are highlighted in these troublesome times. 

But please note Bruh David’s sure statement as he writes on. ‘The Lord shall cut off (destroy) all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud (great) things. Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?’ (Ps.12:3-4) 

Ah friends, what foolish and ignorant people are they? For they obviously don’t know that their lips are not their own; that there entire body and all their possessions belong to the Lord God Jehovah who made heaven and earth and all therein! 

Now listen to the psalmist from Psalm 10, as he prays for the overthrow of the wicked. ‘The wicked through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts (he thinks; There is no God)… He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity (trouble). His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud (oppression): under his tongue is mischief (trouble) and vanity (iniquity).’ (Ps.10:4, 6-7) 

Oh friends, it surely seems like the psalmists are writing about our current world and the atrocities that are taking place in it. If they thought that mankind was evil and wicked back then, those of today have mastered the art, and can certainly teach them a thing or two about evil and wickedness. 

But what those followers of Lucifer don’t realize is that the Lord God Almighty, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is still on His throne in the high heavens, watching down on them only waiting for the right moment to pounce on them. 

And Bruh David spells it out thus: ‘For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety (for which he yearns) from him that puffeth at him.’ (Ps.12:5) 

Yes friends, the Lord will eventually settle all debts and wrongs that the poor and needy and righteous have suffered. How do we know that? Bruh David tells us. ‘The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.’ (Ps.12:6-7) 

That’s a faithful promise and heavenly truth my brethren! We can count on it! So let’s faithfully go out to church this Sunday morning, unafraid of the evil-doers that lurk around us, and joyously praise and worship our Creator, for that’s what He expects, and also what he deserves. Much LOVE!

…Jesus Christ has already defeated hell, death and the grave…so there’s no need to be afraid of evil and its purveyors…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2016 Proverbs 3:28

Proverbs 3:28.   Say not unto thy neighbour, go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 

‘No more work…no more work…’ The voices rise up like a groundswell, before bursting into a crescendo of… ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And no more work…No more work! The slaves are free for two days! No massa to boss we around! So let the party begin! Thank God it’s Friday…And no more work…No more work…’ 

Yeh friends, the weekend is here and we’ll be free from onerous labour for two days. Please let’s use those precious day wisely. Let’s not behave like leggo beasts (smile) and concentrate on satisfying the lusts of our sinful flesh, but rather try to keep some balance in them. Or as Jeeves would say, introduce a modicum of circumspection. 

And to help us do that, let’s chant instead our more wholesome and sensible Friday Chant. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah my people, that’s a much better disposition of our short free time! Thereby we get some of everything and we’re refreshed and anointed to start the following week in high spirits and good physical shape. 

We need to begin each new week with a fresh and positive outlook on life, otherwise we’ll end up behind the eight ball before we even start, and consequently won’t be able to do Jesus’ work like we ought to. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, a rather interesting piece of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘Say not unto thy neighbour, go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.’ 

Oh my people, my people, that seems to have been a problem in Cousin Sol’s time, and believe me, it is still a problem in our time! How often have we done it eh? We owe somebody something, whether it be money or otherwise, and though we have it right at hand, we just can’t bring ourselves to hand it over, and tell the other person to come back tomorrow. 

In the verse before our Bit, Cousin Sol puts it this way. ‘Withhold not good from them (the owners) to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.’ (Prov.3:27) 

That’s a sin, my brethren. And it’s been one from the beginning of time. Hear how Moses spells it out to the Israelites on God’s behalf. ‘Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another… Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.’ (Lev.19:11,13) 

But how often do we see just that happening in these evil and ungodly times eh! Steups! The wicked and greedy employers nowadays are taking advantage of the poor workers, paying them poverty wages, and on top of that making it difficult to collect the little pittance owed them. 

And it’s not only happening in the underground economy, amongst illegal immigrants, but also in the main economy, where employers blatantly withhold employees money and they have to resort to the courts to try and get it. 

What a catch 22: they already have no money, then have to resort to the expensive and time consuming courts to retrieve what is legally theirs. Hn! 

And even when, and if they are successful in court, there is no mechanism in place that compels the employer to pay up. He or she just ignores the court order and things remain the same. 

Oh friends, what a sad state we’re in! In these troubled and dangerous times, in the immortal words attributed to the Scottish Poet Robert Burns (1759-1796), man’s inhumanity to man is not making countless thousands, but countless millions mourn. 

Some will say it’s always been like this, but does that make it right, or should we not try to change it? Certainly not! 

Unfortunately my fellow believers, the onus is on us to try and improve the horrendous situation. It’s all a part of what Jesus came to earth to do; save and serve. And now it’s our turn to do so. But sadly, a lot of us supposed Christians are taking part in the discrimination and fraudulent activities that are being perpetrated on the poor and unfortunate. 

But listen to what the Good Book says about the oppression of servants. ‘Thou shalt not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates: 

At his day (each day) thou shalt give him his hire (wages), neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee.’ (Deut.24:14-15) 

Oh precious people, it couldn’t be any plainer than that. And for you supposed sophisticates, who believe the Old Testament is tired and passé, listen to Jesus as He responds to the rich young ruler asking about how to inherit eternal life. 

‘Thou knowest the commandments, do not commit adultery, Do not kill (commit murder), Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.’ (Mark 10:19)  

So friends, today, the Ten Commandments are still applicable, although they’re not in vogue, and fraud is still a crime and a sin, and is unfortunately very prevalent in this highly technological world of ours. 

In closing, let me just remind us, that as followers of Jesus, we are not expected to be involved in fraudulent behaviour, but are expected to help put it out, whenever we encounter it. In our vocation to LOVE and serve, it’s our bounden duty to eliminate as much fraud and sin as possible. 

So, as we go out today, to do Jesus’ work, please, let’s remember that, and do our best to curb and eventually eliminate such wrongdoing, for it is the wisdom of the ages. Much LOVE!

…withhold not what belongs to others…for someone will withhold what belongs to you…  

P.S. The hockey playoffs have begun with a bang! (smile) Check them out. Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2014 Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13.   I can do all things through Christ which

strengtheneth me.

Oh Friends, another cultural icon has gone home to rest in Paradise after bearing the unholy pangs of this earthly life. I’m talking about Maya Angelou (1928-2014), the wonderful female American author, activist, educator, poet and actress, who died a couple days ago.

 

And believe me, hers was not an easy journey, definitely not an easy pilgrimage. But how could it ever be when you grow up Black in the racist white southern states of America in the early twentieth century eh?

 

And to make matters worse, you’re stubborn and ornery enough to marry a white Greek man, when interracial marriage was so strongly condemned, and even banned in some states. But such was the perseverance, the belly and backbone of Maya Angelou, that she stood her bounce and did her own thing, regardless of the racial problems. 

 

 

Obviously she paid for thumbing her nose at society, white society at that. But just like Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison, so too Maya, in the long run was vindicated, thereby proving that it was indeed possible to live life the way you saw and wanted it, provided you were willing to put up with the hard knocks it brought.

 

Eventually, her writings and her activism earned her numerous rewards, accolades, the LOVE and appreciation of a grateful public. Somehow or other though, I never became a big fan of Maya. Don’t ask me why, because I can’t say. She was indeed a good and prolific writer, but her overall work never thrilled me. Some of her stuff I did like, but when everybody was raving over her, I was just lukewarm. 

 

And I know that some of you might consider that heresy, (smile) but that’s just the way it is. I suspect too, that since some of her stuff that I read earlier on didn’t move me, I never had the inclination to delve deeply into her works. And it’s obvious that she didn’t suffer any lack for my not being her fan. (smile)

 

Anyway Friends, she was a refreshing and reassuring voice in the midst of a bigoted society. And she did stand up to all her detractors, like her forefathers did. And her life exemplified the saying that the Godfather of Soul, Papa James Brown made famous: ‘I’m Black and I’m proud!’

 

Unfortunately though, after some four hundred years, that is something a lot of Black people still have to put into practice. But then too, nobody can stand up to the rigours of racism, oppression and suppression without the help of Jesus!

 

As Bruh Paul so succinctly but wisely and truthfully says it in our Bit: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’

 

And please believe me Friends, that’s the gospel, gospel truth! I’m sure people like Maya and Mandela could not have suffered the persecution they did, yet stand up to it and succeed in their efforts without strong faith in our omnipotent God. And if they could do it, when it was so much harder and dangerous, then so can we, my people, in these less risky times.

 

But we have to put the utmost faith in Jesus, which sadly, too many of us are refusing to do. And you know, before even Bruh Paul wrote those immortal words to the Philippians, Jesus Himself said them, or rather intimated as much. Listen, as He teaches the disciples through the story of the vine and the branches.

 

‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman (vinedresser). Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through (because of) the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you.

 

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:1-5)

 

Oh Friends, that last statement is so profound and undeniably true, that every time we read it, we ought to stop and ponder the absolute truth it represents! Without Jesus, we can truly do nothing! Yet still, we foolishly try to live this life in our own strength.

 

Oh my brethren, when are we going to wake up and realize and acknowledge that fact eh, and then begin living for and through Jesus? Please remember that Jesus’ second coming is imminent; it could be today or tomorrow, and once He returns, all bets are off, there’ll be no longer any repenting and coming to salvation.

 

So if we’re smart, we’d jump on His bandwagon RIGHT NOW! We’d jump on the glory train that’s bound for heaven and getting closer with every powerful chug of its engine.

 

Oh my people, let’s stop being unwise nuh, stop listening to the lies and the deceit propagated by this evil and ungodly world, and grab hold of Jesus and all He stands for before it’s too late. Remember that the Father doesn’t even want to lose one single one of His greatest creation, mankind, to the master of darkness, Beelzebub.

 

And the Father has already done His part; provide Jesus as our saving grace. Now it’s up to us to receive that saving grace, believe in it, and put it into practice in our daily lives, because it’s wisdom from heaven above! Much LOVE!

 

…oh how it’s going to hurt the Father’s heart…when He looks out of heaven…and sees so many of His finest creation…woefully on the outside looking in…and there’ll be no one to blame but ourselves…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.        In your patience possess ye your souls.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, on this Sunday morning in the middle of May, in a season we call spring time, when nature is refreshed and rejuvenated with new life and colour, please, oh please, let’s be eternally grateful and give loads of thanks for the fairly free society in which we live!
 
Once upon a time it was mostly a community based on the Christian faith, but in recent times it has morphed into one of many different, diverse faiths and cultures. However, we are still free to worship and believe in whom or what we choose. Unfortunately though, this is not the case for millions of our Christian brothers and sisters in many places around the world, who live under heinous authoritarian religious regimes.
 
Today I want to highlight the unfortunate plight of one such sister. The newspapers recently reported the awful situation of a 26 year old, eighth months pregnant Sudanese woman, who married a Christian man, and for that she was sentenced to death. Steups! And as always, it’s the women and children who suffer the most.
 
As the hypocritical patriarchal Muslim society in Sudan would have it, it’s okay for a Muslim man to marry outside of his faith, and the children must by law adopt the father’s religion. Chuh! However that largesse of faith does not apply to Muslim women. This unfortunate young woman was convicted of ‘apostasy’ because she refused to renounce her Christian faith. Glory Be!
 
She is paying though a rather hefty price for that refusal since the Sudanese penal code declares that Muslims converting to any other faith is a crime punishable by death. But it doesn’t seem that the young woman was ever Muslim, for although her father, a Muslim, married and Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and the law states that such children must adopt the father’s faith, her mother raised her as a Christian after the father left them.
 
Now she languishes in some sordid jail with her 18 month old son and her unborn child, awaiting her unfair fate. To make matters even more ridiculous and hypocritical, it seems that the court also ordered the young woman to receive a hundred (100) lashes. Why? For having what they considered sexual relations with her husband, a Christian from the new country of South Sudan, which is mostly Christian.
 
Ah Friends, I don’t even want to consider the hypocrisy, because it just makes me so angry that I tend to forget the LOVING-kindness principles of Jesus and desire revenge, or I should say justice (smile) in my heart. Oh I know that we Christians can be very hypocritical too, but hopefully not to that extent.
 
Let’s hope that an appeal is successfully lodged on the young woman’s behalf in the not too distant future. And to help right that wrongful situation, let’s all offer up some heartfelt prayers for her and the millions of other Christians around the world, who are suffering oppression, suppression and loads of injustice, simply because of their sensible and right thinking belief, faith, and trust in Jesus Christ, and the One and Only True and Living Deity, Jehovah God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 
 
My fellow believers, please believe that there is indeed a very real, a very serious and a very deadly spiritual war that’s currently taking place, and we are at the forefront of it. Thus we need to be on our p’s and q’s; ever-ready to resist and fight back against the evil powers that now control this ungodly world.
 
What Jesus prophesied so long ago, as we saw in yesterday’s scriptures, is now coming to pass. ‘But before all these (signs), they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you (be an occasion) for a testimony.’ (Luke 21:12-13)
 
Furthermore ‘And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers (authorities), take ye no thought (do not worry about) how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.’ (Luke 12:11-12)
 
It’s not going to be easy my people, but if we stand strong, steadfast and immovable on the promises of our wonderful Saviour, then we will eventually be victorious. Listen to this awesome promise of God’s Son. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33)
 
And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Jesus has indeed overcome the world. He’s conquered sin, death and the grave with His Easter Resurrection. So let’s take comfort, derive lasting peace from it, and show the world that we are stronger than anything they can throw at us, because we have the awesome power of the Holy Spirit of Jesus working in, for, and through us!
 
Note though, that despite all our assurances, we can’t afford to let down our guard for even one moment, because the evil one is lurking around, looking for even a toehold in our spiritual armour. But we do need to be patient and persevering as Jesus advises in our Bit. ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
Yes Friends, if we remain faithful, don’t give up, and keep pressing on, regardless of our adversity, then we shall indeed see ALL the promises of Jesus come to joyful fruition, and His church will be victorious!
 
So today, my fellow believers, let’s all flock to God’s house with joyful souls nuh, to pray, worship and give thanks for our many blessings and freedoms. For that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!
 
 …the powers of evil and darkness…are no match whatsoever…for those of LOVE and goodness…found in the brilliant light of the world…our Lord and Saviour…Jesus Christ…
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2014 Matthew 6:13

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
 
Oh Friends, the ole fella’s tired this Tuesday morning… And it’s not because of too much libation celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, as a good Irishman ought to! (smile) It’s just from not enough rest.  
 
Yuh know, it’s interesting that when I was growing up in T&T, you didn’t hear a Calypso on the radio during Lent, except on St. Patrick’s Day. I guess they were considered an inferior art or music form, too irreverent and not worthy to be played during the supposedly holy and serious season of Lent.
 
And some of them were indeed irreverent, but nowhere near the amount of irreverent junk that’s being played on the radio these days, both in and out of Lent.
 
It’s strange how the norms and social values of a society change as time goes by, and particularly as the godliness in that society declines, as has happened in Western society over the last thirty or so years.
 
There is a definite correlation between the decline in moral standards and the removal of God from a society. How very sad my people… When we need God the most, as in the disastrous times we’re now experiencing, that’s when we’re seeing Him the least. What a pity!
 
And it’s rather unfortunate and despairing that we’ve tried so many man-made solutions to try and solve our many problems of war, strife, corruption, oppression, suppression, economic decline, poverty, sickness etc. etc, but the one solution guaranteed to bring out us of our troubles, a return to seriously worshipping Jehovah God, we steadfastly refuse to try. Steups!
 
Instead we’re still foolishly trying to further remove Him from the already small, minimal and lowly position He now holds in our constantly faltering and steadfastly failing Western society.
 
Ah mih people, I don’t know what to say. The powers of evil have us so wrapped up in their wicked, far-reaching, invasive tentacles that it seems impossible to get out from under their ungodly regime.
 
But that’s only to the naked eye my brethren! To the eyes of faith, the ones of the soul, which look to heaven and Jesus, Beelzebub’s hold CAN, AND WILL BE BROKEN!
 
But to do that, we need a much greater sense of unity and purpose amongst believers. Instead of fighting amongst and against each other, demoralizing and demonizing each other, we ought to be coming together in some form and fashion to fight against the enemy and the evil powers that are currently dominating the world.
 
And unfortunately, until we get enough faith, sense and wisdom to do that, those evil world powers will continue to divide, conquer and dominate the troubled world we live in.
 
And if you’ll notice, my fellow believers, the evil powers, though not in concert on everything, are surely so in their great desire to rid our society of the power and the glory of Almighty God!
 
Likewise, believers in Jesus Christ don’t need to be in agreement on everything, except the renewal, as well as the expansion of God’s power and glory, majesty and worship down here on earth, just as it exists in heaven above. 
 
That’s what Jesus prayed for when He taught the disciples, and consequently us, how to pray. In the immortal words of our Bit: ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’
 
And that’s exactly what we ought to be doing my brethren; increasing, furthering God’s most worthy and everlasting kingdom down here on planet earth, rather than standing idly by, moaning and groaning, more concerned about acquiring the destructible and destructive things of the world, than the indestructible, everlasting things of heaven. 
 
And it’s not like Jesus left us stranded, completely open to the whims and deeds of the evil one. He particularly prayed for us before He returned to heaven.
 
‘And now come I to thee (Father); and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray NOT that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil (the evil one). (John 17:13-15)
 
And Peter admirably follows that up with these words of absolute truth. ‘The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.’ (2 Pet.2:9)
 
Oh my people, we have all the tools necessary to renew, revitalize and rejuvenate the purpose and kingdom of Almighty God here on earth, so why aren’t we doing it eh? God alone knows for sure!
 
And there’s no greater tool in the arsenal of God that we possess than that of His Holy Spirit which indwells every believer! And it was given to us for the definite and stated purpose of leading and guiding us unto all truth, to give us wisdom and power to live a godly life amidst the troubles of this wicked and ungodly world.
 
So I ask again, why aren’t we using it eh mih people? Why are we simply hanging around in fear, anxiety and apathy, complaining about how the evil rulers are taking away our godly rights and justice?
 
Oh Friends, they are not taking them away, we are allowing them to water down our faith, through lack of unity and a general lackadaisical attitude towards God and our faith!
 
Please note how all the other religions, despite their fallacy, are more serious and zealous in proclaiming their faith than we are about ours: Christianity; the ONE TRUE ONE, based and built on the ROCK, the strong foundation that’s Jesus Christ, His holy and selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, to pay for our abominable sins.
 
Oh Friends, doesn’t that mean a whole lot to us, in fact everything? Well it ought to! We should be so joyous, so stirred up, so grateful for Jesus’ atonement, that we would gladly move heaven and earth to spread the glorious news of His gospel and wonderful kingdom!
 
Please my brethren, I’m pleading with us today, to start doing that RIGHT NOW! It’s high time we lit a huge bonfire under our rear ends to get up and get a true fight going for Jesus and His godly principles! Oh my fellow believers, that’s the only thing that makes any sense in this foolish and senseless world.
 
When we walk with God, He walks with us. But it has to be a heartfelt, continual walk; not a sometimes on, sometimes off thing, where we only cry out to Him for our own petty, selfish purposes, and then forget about Him afterwards. That’s stupidity at it’s zenith my people! And God’s people ought always to be seeking godly wisdom. 
 
The Good Book claims that a word to the wise is sufficient. Please, please, let’s prove today, without a shadow of doubt, that God’s people are indeed wise. Much LOVE!
 
…unless God’s truth is refined…and turned into serious action…not merely talk…Christ’s church will not dominate the earth as it ought to…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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